Holtgraver Tops The All Stars At Mercer
“Danny was a lot better in clean air. I thought if we could stay in traffic I had a shot but the cautions killed us. I wanted that win so bad for my guys, A.J. (Havens) and Barmen (Andrew). The three of us have been together for a couple of years and they are my best friends…they are family. A.J. is sticking with me for the remaining races we run and is going to help other teams and Barman is going to help Caleb Helms. That was something that was in the back of my mind all night,” said Henry beside his FK Rod Ends/K&N Filters/Champion Oil/Simpson Race Products/Keizer Wheels backed No. 54.
“I can’t thank my guys enough. They have worked their butts off for me and did more with fewer resources than anyone out here and for less pay. I couldn’t ask for a better crew,” added Henry.
Four time UNOH All Star champion Tim Shaffer came into the event after claiming the 2013 Ohio Sprint Speedweek title with consistent top 10 finishes and came home third. Shaffer, who is second in the series national and Ohio Region points behind Dale Blaney, is winless in All Star competition in 2013.
Before the green would fly for the 30-lap feature, Adam Kekich would have problems forcing him to the tail. When the green reappeared pole-sitter Holtgraver would bolt into the lead with fourth starting Henry quickly moving into second while outside front row starter Rod George fell to third. The leaders would quickly get into lapped traffic and Holtgraver and Henry had the huge crowd on their feet as they sliced and diced for the lead.
Henry would capture the lead at one point, but got trapped behind a lapped car and Holtgraver vaulted back to the point. The action ground to a halt on lap 12 when Cole Duncan got upside down – he was uninjured. On the restart Holtgraver lead Henry, fifth starter Shaffer, George, and Carl Bowser. During the red Jac Haudenschild would retire to the pits with mechanical woes.
On the restart Blaney, who started 11th after having to transfer to the feature via the B-main, moved into the fifth position. With a clear track, Holtgraver was able to pull away slightly from Henry. But, as soon as Holtgraver found traffic again Henry closed. But, with 8 laps to go Sheldon Haudenschild stopped on the back stretch, handing Holtgraver a clear track once again.
The restart running order was Holtgraver, Henry, Shaffer, George, Blaney, Bowser, Jack Sodeman Jr., Andy Priester, current Mercer point leader Eric Williams and Andrew Palker. Holtgraver would fly to the checkers over Henry, Shaffer, George and Blaney.